Latest polls mixed on marriage equality, discrimination, religious freedom


The latest polls released this week affirm growing support for marriage equality in several states around the nation, as well as growing support for LGBT-inclusive workplace protections.

But another poll suggests religious freedom should trump discrimination laws.

In New Jersey, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 60 percent of voters support legalizing same-sex marriage, compared to 31 percent opposed, with almost no gender gap.

Support is 69 to 23 percent among Democrats, and 64 – 28 percent among independent voters, with Republicans opposed 49 – 39 percent.

Despite having vetoed a marriage equality bill last year, Gov. Chris Christie maintains a 68 percent job approval rating.

In Virginia, a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) poll released Thursday found a strong majority of Virginians – 55 percent – support marriage equality. That number jumps to 71 percent for Virginians under the age of 30, but drops to about one third among Republicans.

On employment protections, the poll found 74 percent of adults in Virginia – including 65 percent of Republicans – support legislation that would prevent workers for being fired due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The HRC poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Target Point Consulting from June 26-30, 2013.

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In Iowa, where same-sex marriage has been legal since a state Supreme Court ruling in April 2009, a new Public Policy Polling poll found that only 47 percent of registered voters think same-sex marriage should be legal, compared to 44 percent who think it should be illegal.

In October 2011, PPP found 41 percent of voters supported same-sex marriage and 48 percent opposed it.

Despite those numbers, a Des Moines Register Poll in February 2012 found 56 percent of Iowa adults (not registered voters) opposed banning same-sex marriage, while 38 percent favored banning it.

Finally, a Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday suggests that Americans draw a fine line when it comes to respecting each other’s religious freedom.

According to the poll, if a Christian wedding photographer who has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage is asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, 85 percent of American adults believe he has the right to say no. The survey found only 8 percent disagreed, even as the courts are hearing such challenges.

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